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Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month: How to protect your vision

Women's eye health and safety month - Women are more likely to develop long term eye conditions than men. We offer advice on how to protect your vision

Rob Oakley

Women's eye health and safety awareness month was created to shine a light on chronic long-term eye diseases in women, but why specifically women?

Well, women in general suffer more from long-term eye conditions than men, this is mainly down to one reason, on average women live longer. The likeness to suffer from a long-term eye disease increases significantly the older you get. Therefore, because women generally live longer than men, more women suffer from chronic eye diseases.

One in five people aged 75 or over in the UK are living with a varying degree of sight loss, that increases to one in two people aged over 90 and nearly two thirds of which are women. Which is a concerning statistic, particularly as it’s estimated that the number of people living with sight loss is set to increase dramatically over the next 25 years.

At OcuPlan we feel incredibly passionate about reducing the amount of people who suffer from sight loss. We are firm believers that sight loss is avoidable in the majority of cases and the first step to solving the issue is awareness. The more we spread the message and educate people, the higher the number of people will preserve their sight.

Here are a few tips on protecting your vision:

Speak to your family

Research your family history for long-term eye conditions. Diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are hereditary, if someone in your family has suffered from a long-term eye disease, there is a chance that you may also. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the better chance of treating it. Speak to your local optometrist and make them aware of your family history, they will then regularly keep an eye on the health of your eyes.

A healthy lifestyle goes a long way

Eating a healthy diet is good for your health in general as well as your eyes. Obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes which can result in developing diabetic retinopathy. Studies have shown that within 20 years of being diagnosed with diabetes, nearly all people with type 1 and around 60% of people with type 2 diabetes will have developed some form of diabetic eye disease.

Regular eye examinations

We recommend that you visit your ophthalmologist or optometrist at least once a year to have a complete eye exam carried out including checks for long-term eye diseases. Most diseases can be treated if they are found early. But, with conditions such as glaucoma, it’s often too late to treat by the time you’ve noticed a change in your vision, so regular eye examinations are so important to check for conditions such as this.

Quit Smoking

Approximately 19% of the UK's adult population smoke, and in doing so can increase the chance of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It's estimated that 23% of those living with sight loss was caused by AMD. It’s name suggests that you only suffer from AMD in your elder years, but this isn't always the case, changing your diet and other habits such as smoking can reduce the risk of developing it.

OcuPlan is designed for patients with long-term eye conditions like glaucoma, ocular hypertension, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Our mission is to protect people’s vision by making eye care more accessible and affordable for the millions of patients in the UK who require monitoring for their long-term eye conditions. To find out more call us on 01215 170423.

Diabetic RetinopathyEye CareGlaucomaOcular Hypertension

Rob Oakley

Rob is OcuPlan's marketing manager. He enjoys helping patients, eye consultants and optometrists to make the most of OcuPlan.